Robert B. Helms has served as a member of the Medicaid Commission as well as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation and deputy assistant secretary for health policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). An economist by training, he has written and lectured extensively on health policy and health economics, including the history of Medicare, the tax treatment of health insurance, and compared international health systems. He currently participates in the Health Policy Consensus Group, an informal task force that is developing consumer-driven health reforms. He is the author or editor of several AEI books on health policy, including Medicare in the Twenty-First Century: Seeking Fair and Efficient Reform and Competitive Strategies in the Pharmaceutical Industry.


  • Member, Health and Human Services Medicaid Commission, 2005-2006
  • Executive Director, American Pharmaceutical Institute, 1989-90
  • Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, 1984-89; Deputy Assistant Secretary, 1981-84, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Director, Center for Health Policy Research, AEI, 1974-81
  • Professor, Loyola College, 1971-73


Ph.D., M.A., economics, University of California at Los Angeles
B.S., Auburn University